“Absorbing. Part social history, part true crime,Tree Thieves is a riveting tale of timber heists plaguing forests from the redwoods to the Amazon.” — Ash Davidson, author of Damnation Spring

Lyndsie Bourgon writes about the environment and its entanglement with history, culture, and identity. Her features have been published in National Geographic, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Oxford American and elsewhere. In 2018, she traveled to Peru with National Geographic to document indigenous experiences of timber theft. She is a Fellow of the Explorers Club and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Lyndsie’s first book, Tree Thieves, was published in June 2022. It uses timber poaching to explore questions of inequality, conservation history, and how the natural world defines who we are.

Lyndsie’s oral history research focuses on the social and cultural experiences of natural resource extraction, agriculture, and land management. Her most recent projects cover land use along the Trans Mountain pipeline corridor, and the final days of British-Antarctic whaling.

In 2017 Lyndsie completed her MLitt Environmental History at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She earned her Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Lyndsie's Featured Titles

Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America’s Woods

Little, Brown Spark |

A gripping investigation of the billion-dollar timber black market “and a fascinating examination of the deep and troubled relationship between people and forests” (Michelle Nijhuis, author of Beloved Beasts)

There’s a strong chance that chair you are sitting on was made from stolen lumber. In Tree Thieves, Lyndsie Bourgon takes us deep into the underbelly of the illegal timber market. As she traces three timber poaching cases, she introduces us to tree poachers, law enforcement, forensic wood specialists, the enigmatic residents of former logging communities, environmental activists, international timber cartels, and indigenous communities along the way.

Old-growth trees are invaluable and irreplaceable for both humans and wildlife, and are the oldest living things on earth. But the morality of tree poaching is not as simple as we might think: stealing trees is a form of deeply rooted protest, and a side effect of environmental preservation and protection that doesn’t include communities that have been uprooted or marginalized when park boundaries are drawn. As Bourgon discovers, failing to include working class and rural communities in the preservation of these awe-inducing ecosystems can lead to catastrophic results.

Featuring excellent investigative reporting, fascinating characters, logging history, political analysis, and cutting-edge tree science, Tree Thieves takes readers on a thrilling journey into the intrigue, crime, and incredible complexity sheltered under the forest canopy.


The Way We Stay Rooted

Lyndsie speaks about the interconnected roots of redwood trees, and how the foundations of that forest (and its communities) are impacted by logging.

An open-mic style monologue followed by a Q & A


Robin Hood was Taking Care of His, and His Own

A 40-minute presentation, including slides and audio clips, that explores the connections between logging and conservation history and poaching in the Pacific Northwest.


The Potential in Community Land | Keynote

A 20 minute speech about the challenges conservationists face today in protecting forests, and the opportunity to counter these challenges through community-based involvement in community forests, like the one being the Land Trust is currently planning.


Student Workshops

Down the Amazon
An overview of the Amazonia region of Peru and the rainforest biome visited, including photos. We then travel into a conservation area managed by a local Indigenous group, and learn how they are working to prevent poaching from happening on their land.

What is Oral History?
Description: A one- or two-part presentation that outlines why interviewing older family members is fun and important, and what we can learn from family stories. For the two-part series, students are provided with an assignment to email someone older than them in their family or friend group about something that happened. In the second class we share the findings of these interviews and talk about what we learned and what surprised us.

Everywhere Radio: Lyndsie Bourgon | Season 3, Episode 1

Vancouver Public Library | Lyndsie Bourgon: Tree Thieves

Lyndsie Bourgon with James Pogue

Oral History and Research

Articles and Essays

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Fellow of the Explorers Club
Nominated for a PEN America Award
Elected to the Royal Canadian Geographical Society
Nominated for awards from the Nieman Foundation, the Society for Environmental Journalist and the BC Yukon Book Awards
Finalist, Banff Mountain Book Competition Environmental Literature award
NPR Science Friday summer read
New York Times Editors’ Choice
Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference
National Geographic Society, Early Career Explorer
Words & Wine: A Mountain Reading. Banff Mountain Film Festival
Mountain and Wilderness Writing Workshop

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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